Terrifying Games, Shows, and Podcasts

A cemetery moon rises while the autumn wind rattles the windows. It’s the perfect night to turn off the lights and enjoy a good scare.

Spooked

‘Snap Judgment’, WNYC Studios, and Luminary Podcast

Glynn Washington is famous for his resonating voice and lyrical storytelling on the NPR show Snap Judgment. That’s why he’s the perfect host for Spooked — a macabre collection of real-life ghost stories. On this spine-tingling podcast, ordinary people share their experiences with the supernatural. My favorite recent episodes include a paramedic who has seen ghosts of his former patients, and the family story of a cursed uncle who gets vengeance from beyond the grave.

Secret Neighbor

tinyBuild games

Fans of Stranger Things and It will love this suspenseful game of hide-and-seek. A motley crew of kids must infiltrate a gothic mansion and save their friend. The goal for the kids’ team is simple: Find all the keys before the time runs out. But one player is the secret neighbor whose goal is to kidnap everyone else. The whimsical yet creepy art design adds to the tension. While the game has no gruesome violence, it’s deeply unsettling to see the kids on Missing posters if the neighbor wins.

American Hysteria

Skylark Media Podcast

Satanic rituals, poisoned Halloween candy, and late-night clown sightings. These are just some of the nightmarish topics that Seattle podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith investigates in American Hysteria. Chelsey combines expert research and dark humor as she delves into the back story of urban legends and moral panics. The show also explores how mass hysteria can have terrible consequences, such as when several innocent daycare workers were jailed on false accusations of satanic torture.

The Haunting of Hill House

Netflix Original Series

Based on the horror novel by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House is both terrifying and heart-wrenching. Back in the ’80s, the Crain family made the mistake of moving into the dilapidated Hill House. The five children were tormented by phantoms like the Bent-Necked Lady and Tall Man, while their mother died by suicide. Now in adulthood, the Crains are still haunted by the ghosts who want to destroy them. The entire cast is terrific, but Kate Siegel and Elizabeth Reaser play breakout roles of feuding sisters desperately trying to hold the family together. 

Apostle

Netflix Original Movie

Apostle deftly combines the gross-out factor of a slasher film with the slow suspense of a classic gothic tale. Dan Stevens plays a disgraced missionary who returns to Edwardian England to investigate his sister’s disappearance. He eventually discovers she has been kidnapped by a sinister cult living on a remote island. The horror continues to unfold as Stevens witnesses the cult making blood sacrifices to an ancient spirit that might just be real. Director Gareth Evans does an amazing job of using the natural beauty of the English coast to highlight the gruesome acts of fanatical humans.

Dark5 YouTube Channel

Fans of weird history, UFOs, and the supernatural must check out Dark5’s channel. Dark5 is famous for investigating unexplained photos and unsettling video clips. Some of my favorite entries include mysterious signals from outer space, the last-known photos of Mount St. Helens before it exploded, and strange inventions from both World Wars. But if you want real nightmare fuel, watch the video of supposed ghosts caught on surveillance camera.

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